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Man sentenced in firearms case to continue his education

WAILUKU — Given the choice of doing community service or continuing his education as he was sentenced in a firearms case, a Molokai man chose education.

Kamohoalii Gomes, 24, of Maunaloa agreed he would work to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma as part of his four years’ probation.

He was sentenced Feb. 26 after earlier pleading no contest to keeping an unloaded firearm in an improper place. Two other charges were dismissed in exchange for his plea.

Gomes was arrested after a Molokai Ranch employee called police to report two people were hunting without permission on ranch land Aug. 17, 2018, said Deputy Prosecutor Sally Tobin. She said Gomes was with a juvenile.

“This is him taking the gun of his older brother and going out hunting with his younger cousin on ranch land,” said defense attorney Chris Dunn.

Since then, Gomes has been working and attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Dunn said.

“He seems to be taking this case and his life more seriously,” Dunn said.

Tobin suggested that Gomes obtain the equivalent of his high school diploma instead of doing community service.

When 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo asked his preference, Gomes said he would get the equivalency diploma.

Loo said Gomes was lucky to have a family with “the right mindset.”

After learning what happened, his aunt got ahold of Gomes and his cousin, who brought in rifles, Loo said. When video showed those weren’t the guns that had been used that day, Gomes’ sister “brought in the right guns,” Loo said.

“You got good family in place here,” she told Gomes.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child,” Loo told him. “Luckily for you, you got a good village. You got good village people. You got to start acting like a villager and not like a child.”

Gomes was given credit for nearly one month he spent in jail.

He was ordered to write a letter apologizing to Molokai Ranch.

The firearms and ammunition were forfeited to the state.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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